In 1861, Latimer Clark and Sir Charles Bright coined the name "volt" for the unit of resistance.

By 1873, the British Association for the Advancement of Science had defined the volt, ohm, and farad.

In 1881, the International Electrical Congress, now the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), approved the volt as the unit for electromotive force.

At that time, the volt was defined as the potential difference [i.e., what is nowadays called the "voltage (difference)"] across a conductor when a current of one ampere dissipates one watt of power. The "international volt" was defined in 1893 as 1/1.434 of the emf of a Clark cell.

As a consequence of the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, the Josephson constant was redefined in 2019 to have an exact value of = , which replaced the conventional value . This standard is typically realized using a series-connected array of several thousand or tens of thousands of junctions, excited by microwave signals between 10 and 80 GHz (depending on the array design).

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Page generated on 2021-08-05